Knowledge and Attitudes as Influencing Factors For Adopting Health Care Technology Among Medical Students in Germany

  • Christoph Dockweiler School of Public Health University of Bielefeld Germany
  • Claudia Hornberg School of Public Health University of Bielefeld Germany
Keywords: Telemedicine, Acceptance, Attitudes of Medical Students


Telemedicine services are increasingly being tested in pilot projects and integrated into standard care. One of the primary reasons for the failure of such innovation processes is the lack of user acceptance. This will soon affect doctors who will have to use telemedicine but will be unfamiliar with it.  Knowledge and attitudes prevalent amongst medical students in Germany were surveyed and their perceived relevance for medical practice analysed. METHODS: In an online-based approach 524 medical students in Germany were interviewed. The participants (63.6% women, average age 25 years) were randomly selected. Correlations were tested within a linear regression model between the expressed expectations (independent variables) and the perceived importance of telemedicine for their future medical practice (dependent variable).RESULTS: The students surveyed showed great interest in telemedicine. The increasing mechanisation of care processes is generally viewed positively. The sooner medical students develop a positive attitude towards the impact of telemedicine for a given medical treatment (p=0.006), diagnostic and therapeutic efficiency (p=0.008) and public health-related costs (p=0.002), the more they tend to assign technology a high value for their future professional practice. There is, however, a lack of information about the potential use of technology. CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need to eliminate knowledge deficits in order to develop treatment-related telemedicine services. This would include more professional publications and furthering education, as well as training more physicians in telemedicine in Germany.


Rechel B, Grundy E, Robine JM, Cylus J, et al. Ageing in the European Union. Lancet 2013;9874(381):1312-1322.

Kleinert S, Horton R. Health in Europe – suc-cesses, failures, and new challenges. Lancet 2013;9872(381):1073-1074.

European Commission. (2014). Putting patients in the driving seat: A digital future for healthcare. Available at: accessed 30 July 2014.

Duquenoy P, Mekawie NM, Springett M. Pa-tients, trust and ethics in information privacy in eHealth. In: George C, Whitehouse D, Duquenoy P, editors. eHealth: Legal, Ethical and Governance Challenges. Heidelberg: Springer; 2013;275-298.

Fisk MJ, Rudel D. Telehealth and service delivery in the home – care, support and the importance of user autonomy. In: George C, Whitehouse D, Duquenoy P (editors). eHealth: Legal, Ethical and Governance Challenges. Heidelberg: Springer; 2013;211-226.

Ionescu-Dima C. Legal challenges regarding telemedicine services in the European Union. In: George C, Whitehouse D, Duquenoy P, editors. eHealth: Legal, Ethical and Governance Challenges. Heidelberg: Springer; 2013;107-134.

Davis FD. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Q 1998;13(3):319-339.

Venkatesh V, Davis FD. A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance module. Four longitudinal field studies. Manag Sci 2000;46:186-204.

Venkatesh V, Morris MG, Davis FD, Davis GB. User acceptance of information technology. Toward a unified view. MIS Q 2003;27(3):425-478.

Orruño E, Gagnon MP, Asua J, Abdeljelil AB. Evaluation of teledermatology adoption by health-care professionals using a modified Technology Acceptance Model. J Telemed Telecare 2011;17(6):303-307.

Holden RJ, Karsh BT. The Technology Accep-tance Model: Its past and its future in healthcare. J Biomed Inform 2010;43:159-172.

Djamasbi S, Frühling A, Loiacono ET. The influence of affect, attitude and usefulness in the acceptance of telemedicine systems. J Inform Technol Theory Appl 2009;1(10):41-58.

Chau PYK, Hu PJW. Investigating healthcare professionals’ decisions to accept telemedicine technology: An empirical test of competing theories. Inform Manage 2002;39(4),297-311.

Zhang Xiaofei, Guo Xitong, Lai Kee-Hung, Guo Feng, Li Chenlei. Understanding gender differences in m-health adoption: A modified Theory of Reasoned Action Model. Telemed e-Health 2013;20(1):39-46.

Ziefle M, Schaar AK. Gender differences in acceptance and attitudes towards an invasive medical stent. J Health Inform 2011;6(2):1-17.

Wilkowska W, Gaul S, Ziefle M. A Small but Significant Difference – The Role of Gender on Acceptance of Medical Assistive Technologies. In: Leitner G, Hitz M, Holzinger A, editors. HCI in Work and Learning. 6th Symposium of the Workshop Human-Computer Interaction and Usability Engineering. Berlin; 2010;82-100.

Deng Z, Xiuting M, Liu S. Comparison of the middle-aged and older users’ adoption of mobile health services in China. Int J Med Inform 2014;83(3):210-224.

Maarop N, Win KT, Singh SSH. Understanding Demographics Influence on Teleconsultation Acceptance in Hospitals: A Mixed-Method Study. J Adv Manage Sci 2014;2(2):117-122.

Kerai P, Wood P, Martin M. A pilot study on the views of elderly regional Australians of personally controlled electronic health records. Int J Med Inform 2014;83(3):201-209.

Wewer A, Dockweiler C, Beckers R, Hornberg C. Alter und Geschlecht als wesentliche Einflussfaktoren für die Akzeptanz telemedizinischer Verfahren bei Patientinnen und Patienten. In: Duesberg F, editor. e-Health 2013. Solingen: Medical Future; 2012;216-221.

Alajlani M, Clarke M. Effect of culture on acceptance of telemedicine in Middle Eastern Countries: case study of Jordan and Syria. Telemed e-Health 2013;19(4):305-311.

Salomon K. Akzeptanz von Dienstleistungsinnovationen. Eine empirische Untersuchung am Beispiel der Telemedizin. Lichtenberg: Harland.

Heidari M, Norouzzadeh R, Salari M. Effective factors in Information Technology (IT) accep-tance in the view of the nurses working in ICU. Crit Care Nurs 2013;6(3):165-172.

Schultz C, Kock A. Telemedizinakzeptanz im Doc2Doc Bereich. In: Schultz C, Gemünden HG, Salomo S, editors. Akzeptanz der Telemedizin. Darmstadt: Minerva; 2005; 277-304.

German Medical Association. (2010). eHealth-Report. Available at: accessed 20 January 2014.

Richter-Kuhlmann EA. Die Lücken werden größer. Ärzteblatt 2010;107(36):1670-1673.

Lu J, Yao JE, Yu C-S. Personal innovativeness, social influences and adoption of wireless Internet services via mobile technology. J Strat Inform Syst 2005;14(3):245-268.

Pfennig U, Renn O, Mack, U. The future of technical and natural science occupations: Strategies against the shortage of trainees. Karlsruhe: Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse - ITAS, 2002.

How to Cite
Dockweiler, C., & Hornberg, C. (2014). Knowledge and Attitudes as Influencing Factors For Adopting Health Care Technology Among Medical Students in Germany. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth, 2(1), 64-70. Retrieved from
Original Research